On Monday, Sister Ann Roza Nu Tawng knelt down in front of heavily armed riot officers in the northern city of Myitkyina in Myanmar. She begged the officers to spare “the children” and take her life instead.
“I knelt down begging them not to shoot and torture the children, but to shoot me and kill me instead.”
Protestors took to the streets of the capital city of the northern state of Kachin wearing hard hats and carrying homemade shields. When Sister Ann Roza noticed riot officers massing around the protestors, she and two other sisters took to the streets to plead with them to leave.
“The police were chasing to arrest them and I was worried for the children. I told the police not to beat and shoot the protesters. I begged them many times. But the police said they will need to remove the barricades to stop the protest and that they have to do their duty. They also knelt down to me and say they have to do it. Then they started to use the tear gas and I started to feel dizzy and struggled to breathe. I saw the man falling down on the street and I went to see him but he passed away. I’m not afraid of losing my life. I just wanted to help people. But the police were so brutal.”
Despite her appeals for restraint, moments later at least two protesters were killed on Monday when the police started firing into the crowd.
“The children panicked and ran the front. I couldn’t do anything but I was praying for God to save and help the children. I felt like the world was crashing. I’m very sad it happening as I was begging them.”
Sister Ann Roza was later seen looking with grief at the body of man in the street.
On February 28th, Sister Ann Roza made a similar plea with police, walking slowly towards them, getting on her knees, and asking them to stop.
“I have thought myself dead already since February 28. Even though I’m a sister, I’m one of the people of Myanmar. I feel the same pain with all the people when I see the brutal crackdown. I feel sad when they feel sad. I always think about how I can help people. Whenever I hear the news about protesters being killed by security forces, I cry. I feel empathy for their family. I decided to stop them by kneeling down because I believe the power of love will work and God will protect us.”
Sister Ann Roza said she will continue to stand up for “the children.”
“I can’t stand and watch without doing anything, seeing what’s happening in front of my eyes while all Myanmar is grieving.”